Book Review: “The Serpent King” by Jeff Zentner

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I could summarise this novel into one very well-known idiom we surely have all come across or even used while conversing in a social setting.

“The apple does not fall far from the tree”.

However, how true is this?

Dillard Early has his whole life ahead of him, but the only thing he sees at the end of the tunnel is a black hole. While his friends Lydia, growing her social media empire as a fashion blogger and Travis discovering himself as a lover of the written word will certainly both move on to bigger and better things after High School, Dill is looking forward to working full time at his local supermarket.

serpentkingSadly, Dillard has been made a prisoner. A prisoner of the mind. A mind shaped by the two most important people in his life who were supposed to guide him through. His parents.

Dill is starting life with a real disadvantage as he has to carry the name associated to the crime committed by his father the so called “Serpent King” and self-appointed preacher. Added to that, his mother has burdened him with the responsibility of taking care of the family debt, because after all if Dill’s father is in prison it’s all Dill’s fault! At least it is what has been hammered into his head.

Of course, Dill is a dutiful son and will do anything to please his mother even if it means he has to forfeit his own future.

However, life does not always go according to plan, which in Dill’s situation is probably not a bad thing.

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you feel that whatever you do, your prospects are limited?

Dill’s name carries such a “curse” in the eyes of his community that he does not even allow himself to dream.

Pinpointing that one single element that made me love this book is utterly impossible. I guess it is a combination of things.

There is no complicated plot here, just a very human story that is easily relatable.

The personalities of our 3 friends are polar opposites but the dynamic between them is so in tune that it makes way for a lovely friendship. This trio just gel together.

However, what I like to call “the awakening” part of this book for one of our characters, has to be my favourite. There is such an innocence and grace in the words telling this part of the tale, that it is difficult to not feel emotional when reading it.

Probably one of the best coming of age story I have read this year.



Thanking team @AndersenPress for providing me with a review copy of this title.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Suze says:

    I recently purchased this book. I’m happy that it’s a book I’m probably going to love.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Steve Barnett says:

    Hi, I know we have not spoken in a while and I hope you are doing welI. would like to direct you to southampton’s writers circle youtube channel. More videos will appear over time from writers. You may show these videos if you like. We talked before about the book I sent you ‘Deception fall of man.’ I would like you opinion on it as the sequel will be ready soon. I have worked hard and the writers circle has been very useful. I feel I have improved because of them. If you like we could talk further on this. Until then here is a little bit of flash fiction. Other works by more authors are available on the southampton’s writers circle channel. Kind regards,  Steve Barnett


    |   | |   | |   |   |   |   |   | | IN SHADOWS FLASH FICTION | | | | View on | Preview by Yahoo | | | |   |


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